Robert Frost, The Silken Tent

August 3, 2004 | 56 comments

Robert Frost has a poem that should speak to us, with how marriage-minded and homeward looking we are. Know it by it’s first line, “She is as in a field a silken tent.” The woman he describes is a woman who has filled her duties and obligations with love enough that they scarcely seem duties anymore. A tent is kept up, not tied down, by its various cords, and so she. She is

“loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
. . .
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.”

I picture the woman here as a young mother. Young mothers are the very flower of womanhood. I have the good fortune to be tied to one myself.

Note: This post has been modified.


56 Responses to Robert Frost, The Silken Tent

  1. Jim F. on August 4, 2004 at 1:20 am

    Those of us married to older women might disagree with your final sentence.

  2. Adam Greenwood on August 4, 2004 at 1:41 am

    With time I will disagree with my final sentence too.

  3. VeritasLiberat on August 4, 2004 at 2:32 am

    When I hear the words “young mother” combined with “tent” I think of maternity clothes.

  4. Dr. Tarr on August 4, 2004 at 2:33 am

    How long before Frost’s estate comes after you for copyright infringement?

  5. Adam Greenwood on August 4, 2004 at 11:57 am

    Answer: I don’t know.

  6. danithew on August 4, 2004 at 1:22 pm

    So that in guys it gently sways at ease

    There’s a use of the word “guys” I haven’t seen previously. I’ll have to look that one up.

    Thanks for posting the beautiful poem Adam. It’s been awhile since I read poetry but this has been really a refreshing experience for me. Maybe I need to dive back into the poetry books.

  7. Professor Fether on August 4, 2004 at 4:21 pm

    I’d be curious to know how Bishops handle the response, “No, I steal poetry” when they ask “Do you deal honestly with your fellow men?” during recommend interviews.

  8. Katherine on August 4, 2004 at 5:01 pm

    This has long been one of my favorite love poems; I’m glad you thought to share it at T&S. It’s a good reminder that the commitment of marriage should feel like being bound together with ties of love and thoughtfulness (instead of feeling tied down and stymied). It gives me lots to think about concerning how I can help my husband feel that lovely way.

  9. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 5:02 pm

    I’m not sure how dishonest it is to quote someone’s poem after rightfully attributing it to its author. Am I missing something?

  10. danithew on August 4, 2004 at 5:17 pm


    Perhaps I should add that I especially enjoyed reading this poem because my wife and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary today. It really is a very tender and sweet poem about marriage. So thanks again! This isn’t a poem I had noticed before but I’ll remember it from now on. :)

  11. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 5:54 pm

    Although the format of the comment is a bit snarky, P. Fether is correct that it’s an infringement to post copyrighted material without permission and/or paying royalties.

    To the extent that you believe taking someone else’s property without paying for it is dishonest, this could fall into that category.

  12. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 6:01 pm

    Oh, and happy anniversary to danithew.

  13. Kaimi on August 4, 2004 at 6:17 pm

    I’m no copyright expert, but what does Adam’s fair use defense look like in this instance? Is this post potentially a fair use?

  14. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 6:34 pm

    Probably not. The statute requires balancing four factors:

    1) How much was taken? In this case, more than a few lines — really, the whole poem I think. This factor weighs against fair use.

    2) What kind of work is it? Poetry is highly creative, so gets a high degree of protection. So, this factor is also against fair use.

    3) What was the purpose of the use? I’m not sure where blogging fits in — maybe you could claim it is criticism or commentary. I’m dubious about that, but say it is and weighs in favor of fair use.

    4) What is the effect on the market for the work? This is the most damning factor — essentially, anyone in the world with Internet access can now read the poem for free. Definitely weighs against fair use.

    Three strikes, Adam’s out.

    Not to mention that T&S is accessible all over the world, including countries outside the U.S., where they don’t have the fair use excuse.

    However, it looks like the poem was first published in 1942, so assuming the copyright was renewed, it passes into the public domain in 2009. Adam can post it then (unless, of course, Disney gets the copyright term extended again).

    Maybe we should also talk about the vicarious liability of the blog owners? ;-)

  15. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 6:35 pm

    Kaimi’s comment is similar to my thought on this. It doesn’t seem logical that one must obtain explicit permission or pay royalties anytime a poem is quoted. For example, there are nearly innumerable articles and essays posted all over the internet that quote entire poems with proper attribution but not with permission–how is this different from Adam’s current use of the Frost poem? I too am no copyright expert but it doesn’t seem that copyright law is that restrictive. . . .

  16. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 6:41 pm

    Okay, looks like Obi-wan posted his fair use analysis while I was writing my last post. Thanks Obi-Wan.

    I guess I was focusing more on the purpose of the use to the exclusion of the other factors (and seeing Adam’s purpose as criticism/commentary).

    Looks like Adam can save his use by replacing one line with ellipses. Then the negative effect on the market for the work is removed and people will still have to buy the poem to see the whole thing. Also, the whole poem won’t have been taken, thus eliminating the strike on the first factor (although I don’t know how the caselaw comes out on the first factor as applied to poetry). So by deleting one line, Adam gets only one strike, and possibly a fair use defense.

  17. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 6:49 pm

    Oh, copyright is very definitely that restrictive. The Church has paid some very hefty damages the past few years for not keeping better tabs on what is copied in genealogical libraries and elswhere.

    The exclusive rights of the copyright owner include the reproduction of the work (which Adam has done, all over the world now); the right of distribution (which Adam has also done, also all over the world now) and the right of public performance and display (which Adam has also done all over the world now). Isn’t the Internet great?

    Now it’s entirely possible that Frost’s estate will never catch him, among all the innumerable infringing articles and essays that John Fowles points out are posted all over the ‘net. But that doesn’t help much on the honesty point raised by Tarr and Fether. (I guess the inmates are running the asylum?)

  18. Chad too on August 4, 2004 at 6:58 pm

    Rebroadcasting a baseball game –even at no commercial gain– but not showing the first inning isn’t likely to get one out of copyright trouble. Fair use could be a protection if Adam had only excerpted one line of the poem (much like CNN can show highlights from a Fox football game), but “all but one line” isn’t likely to stand. The poem is still substantially re-printed without permission.

  19. Kaimi on August 4, 2004 at 7:02 pm


    So, is it permissible to link to other web sites (which are probably in violation themselves)? The poem is available in many places; see, e.g.,

    and (these guys have their own copyright of the online text asserted)

  20. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 7:03 pm

    Obi-Wan, what about the non-commercial nature of Adam’s use–does that play any role?

  21. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 7:06 pm

    “So by deleting one line, Adam gets only one strike, and possibly a fair use defense.”

    Or course, by mutilating the text, you then violate Frost’s moral right of integrity of the poem in all the Berne Convention countries besides the U.S.

  22. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 7:07 pm

    Okay Chad too answered my noncommercial use inquiry and also set me straight on my idea that deleting one line would be sufficient to avoid problems with the effect on market share prong.

  23. wendy on August 4, 2004 at 7:12 pm

    John — Was the non-commercial nature of the Tanners’ use of excerpts from the CHI on their website relevant? The church didn’t think so.

    That case raised Kaimi’s linking question, also:

  24. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 7:12 pm

    Does replacing the deleted line with an ellipses mutilate the text in such a way as to violate the Berne Convention?

    And what is the status of moral rights in copyright in the US after the US signed on to the Berne Convention in 1989?

  25. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 7:16 pm

    John Fowles — Noncommercial use shows up in factor three, the “why did you take it?” factor. If the answer is “to make a fast buck,” then the factor weighs against fair use.

    Kaimi — Probably not, especially if the other sites are infringing. The link essentially refers people to an unauthorized copy, assisting in the infringement. It might be different if it refers them to an authorized copy.

    There is a fairly interesting case on this involving Jerold and Sandra Tanner — they were posting portions of the Handbook of Instructions, about how to have your name removed from Church records, on their web site. The Church sued them for copyright infringement and the district court enjoined them from posting the material. So instead they put up an URL to a site in Australia — outside the court’s jurisdiction — where the same material was available.

    The court was not amused and slammed them pretty hard. Technically, they were in contempt for violation of the injunction, rather than for violation of the copyright statute, but there are cases with the copyright analysis that come out the same way.

  26. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 7:17 pm

    Also, obi-wan, are you saying that Adam could get sued in France for violating Frost’s moral rights, when Frost is an American–I mean, would Frost’s estate have standing in France to sue Adam, and what connection/interest would France have in allowing the suit to go forward?

    I am betraying my ignorance here, but it is interesting to me (and I have an excuse since I didn’t study IP at law school).

  27. john fowles on August 4, 2004 at 7:24 pm

    Obi-wan wrote: The Church sued them for copyright infringement and the district court enjoined them from posting the material. So instead they put up an URL to a site in Australia — outside the court’s jurisdiction — where the same material was available.

    Why didn’t that create an actionable violation of the author’s moral right to integrity of the work that the Church could have pursued in Australia or in any other Berne Convention signatory country?

    Also, I thought that the moral rights issue was regularly side-stepped by dual publication, i.e. publishing in the US and in a Berne Convention signatory country at the same time so as to make use of the moral rights theory of copyright available in much of the rest of the world.

  28. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 7:41 pm

    John Fowles –

    First, the U.S. doesn’t recognize moral rights, and we didn’t change our law to conform with that aspect of Berne when we joined (except for works of fine art, for which Congress enacted the Visual Artist’s Rights Act). We claimed that our trademark and unfair competition law were good enough. Most people think we are in violation of the treaty, but there are no sanctions for violation, so we ignore it when it is inconvenient (like we do most of our other international treaty obligations . . . but nevermind, don’t get me started on that).

    Second, the effects of mutilation of the work will depend on how the moral rights provisions are implemented nation by nation, but generally the mutilation must bring dishonor or disrepute to the artist. In many places, publishing the poem with a line knocked out would be enough.

    (This might also, incidentally, be true in the U.S. under the Lanham Act for false designation of origin; see the infamous Monty Python case, Gilliam v. ABC).

    Like most international treaties, the Berne operates on the principle of national treatment, so signatory nations are required to grant to the nationals of other signatory nations the same rights they give their own nationals. France has to give Frost the same rights they would give a French poet, whatever those are.

    Regarding the Tanners — the Church can presumably sue the Australian web site owner in Australia for Australian copyright infringement, but since equity always acts in personam, the Australian is not bound by the injunction issued by the U.S. court, since he was not before it. So there was no jurisdiction over him in the contempt proceeding against the Tanners.

    For that matter, the Church can sue the Australian in the U.S. for U.S. copyright violation, since the Australian web site “published” the Handbook pages into U.S. territory. They just didn’t, at least not in that action.

    The Church could possibly sue the Australian in U.S. court for Australian copyright violation, but U.S. courts don’t like suits where they have to apply foreign law, so they tend to find ways to dismiss them. It happens occasionally but is pretty rare.

    Similarly, Adam has engaged in what you call “dual publication” by publishing the poem not only in the U.S., but probably every other Berne nation, so Frost’s estate can go after him in the U.S. and in probably every other nation where the Internet is accessible. There’s no single publication rule in copyright, so he could spend the rest of his life defending infringement actions in exotic places.

  29. Jordan Fowles on August 4, 2004 at 7:50 pm

    Yes, Obi-wan, but for what damages? An injunction?

    I’ll bet that if Adam received a “cease and desist” letter from the Frost estate, that he would immediately remove the poem since it probably does not matter for him. If it is important to the Frost estate to ensure that a single poem is not published and interpreted on a website, then they will write such a letter and that will be the end of the story. If not, then no harm, no foul.

    Therefore, he would not have to continually defend against hypothetical lawsuits in hypothetical countries around the world. While there is an ivory tower way of looking at this, there is also an, economics-driven, practical reality which dictates that Adam probably need not worry.

  30. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 8:12 pm

    Jordan Fowles –

    I fear that I am not familiar enough with the damages provisions of all the Berne countries to completely answer your comment, but it is certainly incorrect at least as far as the U.S. goes.

    In the U.S., Congress anticipated your “no harm, no foul” scenario, and decided that any time there is a violation of the copyright owner’s rights, there is harm, and a foul. So for properly registered works, the statute provides statutory damages between $500 and $100,000 per violation, regardless of the actual damages — and probably more importantly, provides for attorney’s fees, so the defendant has to pay for the plaintiff’s attorney. Frost’s estate needn’t prove harm in order to recover the damages and fees, just a violation. At least some, if not all, of the other Berne nations do the same.

    In practical terms, as I mentioned before, Adam probably need not worry just because Frost’s estate probably won’t notice. But that takes us back to the honesty point again.

    If we were talking about music, rather than poetry, this would be exactly the peer-to-peer file sharing situation, BTW.

  31. Jordan Fowles on August 4, 2004 at 8:29 pm

    Yes, but this line of reasoning would prevent scholars from quoting poems (even in their entirety) which remain under copyright in all sorts of contexts.

    I would think that you would have to revisit the “fair use” analysis that you performed above. In this situation, perhaps the courts would give a lot more weight to the third prong. What Adam has done is like a student who writes a paper interpreting poetry, not like the peer-to-peer file sharing situation.

    In the peer-to-peer file sharing, a copy of the work is published or made available to the public with no added value. Here, Adam has not just posted the poem for anyone to copy, but rather he has quoted the poem and added his original interpretation of it.

    If he would be dishonest for that, then the majority of scholars who quote poetry to interpret it would also fall under condemnation. I doubt that the courts would allow such a thing to happen under the copyright statute, since the whole purpose of copyright law is to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.”

    In quoting the poem and then adding his analysis, Adam has created a work of literary exegesis or analysis and would, I think, not be liable under US copyright law.

  32. obi-wan on August 4, 2004 at 9:06 pm

    Jordan Fowles –

    I am a big fan of fair use, but it is like a rubber band — you can only stretch it so far before it snaps.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that Adam’s three sentences rise to the level of “exegesis,” and in particular, “exegesis” that would require reprinting the entire poem — it is actually pretty much standard practice for scholars who want to quote an entire poem or analyze more than brief exerpts to get permission to do so before publication — including Internet publication. This sometimes involves royalty payments, and unfortunately, sometimes involves royalty payments that are steep enough that the scholar has to do some other project (say, instead of Frost, analyze Coleridge, who’s been dead long enough that copyright’s not a problem). I have written quite a number of opinion letters for academic publishers on this precise question. My general recollection is that Frost permissions are fairly pricey.

    Copyright is indeed intended to promote the progress of science. But the Supreme Court has been very clear, especially lately, that the statute accomplishes this by monetarily rewarding authors, and the incursions of fair use on that reward are to be extremely limited. The cases are heavily stacked against Adam on this one.

    On the music question: If I start posting Evanesence MP3s on my website, even together with three sentences of “exegesis,” I’m going to get a nastygram from the RIAA, and if I try to rely on a fair use defense, I’m going to lose. Same as with the poem.

  33. Jordan Fowles on August 5, 2004 at 12:55 am

    I see your point, and the Frost estate probably would be OK in going after Adam. But it doesn’t make what he did morally wrong.

    Furthermore, I must continue to disagree about this being the same thing as making an MP3 available for downloading on your website. Users of KAZAA and similar configurations make their music available for copying and receive other tunes in return as a “reward”. What is Adam’s “reward”? How does he profit?

  34. Jim F. on August 5, 2004 at 1:03 am

    My experience has been that publishers are not the best people to ask what constitutes fair use. For obvious reasons, they err on the side of very little being fair use. The most general way to put the question is to ask whether a particular use would undermine the value of the publisher’s product. (It is rarely the author’s product any more.) I doubt that Adam’s use does so–but, hey, I’m no lawyer.

  35. Aaron E on August 5, 2004 at 2:04 am

    Adam to the bishop: “No, I steal poetry”

    This is irrelevant to the technicalities of copyright law but has been mentioned a few times–to me, a violation of copyright law (or any other law) does not necessarily equal stealing/dishonesty. In this case, it’s not clear to me that stealing should be defined by U.S. statute or international treaties for purposes of a Bishop’s interview.

  36. Adam Greenwood on August 5, 2004 at 2:06 am

    My thanks to Mr. Obi-wan for alerting us to the real possibility of a copyright violation in the original post. I have made what I hope are suitable corrections. Huzzah the law of the land.

  37. Davis Bell on August 5, 2004 at 2:44 am

    Who is that masked Wan?

  38. obi-wan on August 5, 2004 at 2:45 am

    “The most general way to put the question is to ask whether a particular use would undermine the value of the publisher’s product.”

    Actually, since it is a balancing test and this formulation addresses only the fourth factor, it’s entirely possible to fail the first three factors, and also not undermine the value of the product, and still have the use considered not fair. This happens in the derivative works area, for example.

    On the honesty issue: I have no particular position on whether this activity is honest or not, that’s just how the question was originally raised by the Poe inmates. There may be situations where it is honest to illegally use another’s property without payment or consent — I think those situations are probably fairly rare, though. Maybe in a life-threatening emergency.

    Here is a trickier version of the honesty question: it is technically an infringement to make copies of music you have purchased (except, as always, where the copying is fair under the balancing test). But the Audio Home Recording Act says that the copyright owner “has no remedy” against copying of lawfully purchased music for the purchaser’s own use. In other words, the copying is still an infringement, but no suit will lie.

    Does that mean that the copying is permissible? Or, that it’s still prohibited but that the copyright owner just can’t do anything about it? Can there be a wrong with no remedy? I’m not really sure which way to view it, although I personally have no qualms about making home recording copies.

  39. obi-wan on August 5, 2004 at 2:51 am

    Oh, and I agree with Jim F. that publishers are likely to be risk averse — the trouble is, that since the fourth factor incorporates custom and practice, the more often people ask for permission, the more often failing to ask for permission is likely not to be found fair.

  40. Kaimi on August 5, 2004 at 6:15 am

    A reader with some knowledge of copyright law e-mailed me and suggested that in his opinion, Adam’s use is fine. His general analysis is as follows:

    Given a noncommercial blog, little likely effect on the market for or value of the work (people won’t refrain from buying Frost books, [and -- importantly, I believe -- the Frost estate doesn't run a pay-per-download poem clearinghouse]), and that there’s no mechanism for easily getting a license to copy, the fair use balance is as in Sony v. Universal, 464 U.S. 417 (1984) (available at many places online, such as HERE), where noncommercial, nontransformative copying of an entire work, with no likely effect on the market, was found to be fair use. (The reader assumes that Adam’s initial sentences do not rise to the level of exegesis).

    The reader’s analysis sounds reasonable to me, though I’m not a copyright attorney or scholar myself.

  41. john fowles on August 5, 2004 at 11:34 am

    And if Adam’s commentary does rise to the level of exegesis, then it becomes a fair use on grounds independent of Sony v. Universal‘s noncommercial, nontransformative copying? That makes sense to me. Anyway, my initial incredulity arose from (1) my lack of expertise in copyright law (thanks to Obi-wan for the free tuition on that), and (2) the fact that this use, although nontransformative, which I had previously thought to be the touchstone for fair use (if it is transformative, then it is okay), was noncommercial and was indistinguishable from instances where a poem is given in its entirety in an analytical article in an academic journal.

    As for the honesty level of copying music and of “copyright stealing,” I think lines can be drawn within the concept. For example, I side with obi-wan in that I feel comfortable copying music for home use. But I am more conflicted about file-sharing of music and movies on the internet. For one thing, I don’t buy the often heard argument that it is okay because the music industry makes so much money by selling the songs that it is only just to be able to trade free copies of the music–the evil industry deserves it. On the other hand, I am a fan of the free market and don’t want to see a heavy-handed regulator come into the picture.

  42. obi-wan on August 5, 2004 at 2:42 pm

    As much as I’d like to buy into the reader’s analysis posted by Kaimi, I’m afraid it’s probably wrong.

    First, after the Michigan Documents and Texaco decisions, the relevant market that is being harmed by Adam likely would be defined as the market for Internet permissions — not the market for Frost books. That market is clearly being harmed (i.e., Adam didn’t pay for permission to post the poem). Even if the market were defined as the market for Frost’s books, it’s not clear to me that that market isn’t being harmed as well.

    Second, a mechanism for permission is imporant to the Michigan Document and Texaco analyses. But here there is a very straightforward method for requesting a license — write to the poem copyright holder and ask. The march of technology is making this simpler all the time. I turned up the relevant name and address in less than 30 seconds from a Google search, on the first try, see here (and incidentally also an example of the copyright holder asserting its right against unauthorized scholarly web publication of the poems).

    As for Sony — remember that the “timeshifting” fair use analysis in Sony was based on copying for personal use a work that the viewer had been, as the court put it, “invited” by the copyright owner to view. Quite a different matter from publishing to the world a work where there is no “invitation” by the copyright owner to do so.

  43. john fowles on August 5, 2004 at 3:00 pm

    Maybe the solution here is to resort to the age-old principle that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

    Here is what the email that obi-wan linked to says to the infringers at Columbia:

    Therefore, please remove all Robert Frost poetry from your Internet pages. If you would like to continue posting Robert Frost poetry, please submit a written request to our permissions department, with your complete contact information and a brief note on the purpose of your web site, which poems you are interested in using, and in exactly what context you wish to use the poetry. We will inform you of any poems which are in the public domain.

    What I am getting at Jordan hinted at above. Adam and T&S are likely in no danger because before slamming them with damages or an injunction or both under the state of the law as laid out by obi-wan, the copyright holder will likely send such a letter to Adam and/or T&S. Of course, this is terrible legal advice, but it seems sound as a practical matter.

    Thus, as scary as the legal situation might be, Jordan seems to have been right when he said above, there is also an economics-driven, practical reality which dictates that Adam probably need not worry.

  44. Chad too on August 5, 2004 at 3:11 pm

    And as to the Public Domain, I’m still miffed that the Supreme Court didn’t find the Mickey Mouse CTEA unconstitutional when they had the chance in Eldred v. Ashcroft. Isn’t it sad that, paraphrasing Justice O’Connor, bad public policy isn’t necessarily unconstitutional.

    Free Mickey!

  45. obi-wan on August 5, 2004 at 3:24 pm

    Here is a slightly different question, which I hope is not threadjacking:

    Why do Mormons know so little about intellectual property?

    I’ve posted at T&S on a variety of legal topics, from international law to con law, and typically get a barrage of extremely confident, purportedly informed responses (at least, the respondants seemed to think they were well-informed — perhaps some of them actually were).

    But as soon as I post about copyright, suddenly a thousand disclaimers bloom, with everyone (except Kaimi’s undisclosed correspondent) quickly disavowing any knowledge of the subject.

    On the academic front, there is not now, and never has been, anyone at BYU law who specializes in IP. I understand Tom Lee would cover trademarks occasionally, but that’s about it. Outside BYU, essentially all the LDS academics I know of teach either business law or con law, with the sole exception of the former guest blogger Prof. Burke (whom one might speculate is Kaimi’s undisclosed correspondent).

    I ask because, as I mentioned before, the Church has made some rather serious blunders in this area over the past few years. When they notice IP at all, it seems to be to censor critics (as in the Tanner case discussed here). I’ve had discussions with SLC bureaucrat types (including, frighteningly, in the Church’s publishing arm) and they seem woefully ignorant on the topic. Frankly, the Church’s outside counsel doesn’t seem terribly savvy about it, either.

    Why the glaring blind spot?

  46. Jordan Fowles on August 5, 2004 at 3:34 pm

    Did I disavow any knowledge of the subject?

    I was not aware that I had.

    And although John Fowles did, he needn’t have.

    I think that anyone so disavowing was probably just acknowledging that they don’t deal with these issues on a day-to-day basis as you (obi-wan) seem to.

    But you’re right that it seems to be a “blind spot” in the Church’s legal arms.

  47. john fowles on August 5, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    Obi-wan: Tom Lee teaches a full IP course (not just trademark) at BYU and there are separate seminars in each of Copyright, Trademark, and Patent. Furthermore, BYU pumps out a good cadre of IP lawyers every year who work in IP firms in SLC and all over the country.

    One reason why I personally don’t have much IP knowledge is that I was a liberal arts person in my pre-law life and despite my own high level of interest in IP, I succumbed to the notion that I could never go anywhere in IP without a science degree in my previous life. Early in law school I bought that line and closed doors to myself through my class choices, not realizing that it wasn’t really true until too late. Now I can only be jealous of my law school friends who will make more money with more interesting and in demand IP projects!

  48. Jack on August 5, 2004 at 4:58 pm

    The scribal tradition is alive and well.

    One tiny gem of gospel wisdom–a thousand pages of irrelevant commentary.

  49. danithew on August 5, 2004 at 5:35 pm

    I was thinking that if this blog belonged to a bunch of ex-English majors that they might actually be providing an analysis of the poem. But they don’t blog because they’re all flipping burgers somewhere.

    [I can say this because I'm one of them]

  50. Kaimi on August 5, 2004 at 11:28 pm


    I can say that for me personally, IP law is a blind spot that I’m well aware of and none too happy about. But I just don’t have time to educate myself in this area, and at the same time keep up with the thousand other things I’m doing.

    As far as LDS professorial bias, I’m not sure I would characterize LDS law-profs as “business or con law.” I don’t know the universe of LDS law professors, but besides business (Gordon; Christian Johnson; Tuan Samahon) and Con Law (Rod Smith) we’ve also got Eric Anderson and Val Ricks who are contracts folks. Dan Burk is the only IP professor I’m aware of, but I only know half a dozen LDS law professors, so finding only one IP specialist from that number isn’t surprising to me.

    (Also, for the record, Dan Burk is not my undisclosed correspondent. I haven’t asked him for his position on the blogging copyright issue, though perhaps I should).

  51. Lea on August 26, 2004 at 6:42 pm

    thank you all for your astute comments that helped me to grasp this fine specimen of a poem.

  52. Adam Greenwood on August 26, 2004 at 7:18 pm

    Why, Lea, is it just me or is their a scent of burning sarcasm in the air? :)

  53. john fowles on August 26, 2004 at 10:13 pm

    I liked Jack’s comment and laughed at Lea’s. It is true, isn’t it? But oddly (and despite my own background in literature) I found this discussion very stimulating and downright interesting. It’s not every day you get free tuition from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

  54. Leslie on September 8, 2004 at 11:27 am

    So now that we have beaten the copyright issue to a pulp, would someone quote on the unusual use of the word “guys,” please?

  55. marta on September 8, 2004 at 12:12 pm

    It is not at all an unusual use. Guys are guy wires, the ropes which tie her down. In spite of being tied down she is swaying at ease because the ropes (all her responsibilities, one assumes) have relaxed ( the summer sun has dried the dew and the ropes relented;tight and restricting when wet, relaxed when dry.)

  56. marta on September 8, 2004 at 12:16 pm

    And thank you, Adam, for the link so that we may refer to the entire poem without digging through shelves and boxes and anthologies. It is a fine specimen. A beautiful poem. And all the comments were amusing and instructive.


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